Wandaful Quilts

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A package arrives......little bits.........prewash or not

I went to church sewing circle yesterday afternoon and we worked on the preemie layettes and got 7 of the pillowcases sewn.  Shortly after I got home the doorbell rang.  There was a package..............


Of course it was fabric! equilter had sent me a gift certificate because I order too often, LOL!  No really, it was a 'thank you' gift certificate, which had an expiration date, so I had to use it!

I chose some half yards of the newer batiks and a couple other pieces.  I'll admit I did spend a few extra dollars too beyond the certificate amount.





I sewed some more of my little bits pieces last night while I watched 'Castle'.  I haven't pressed them yet.  The little container is getting pretty full so I'll have to decide what I'm going to make with them.






Once again I am getting a lot of questions in the comments that are from anonymous or names without an email link.  I don't want to address all of them the next day and I don't usually answer comments with a comment on my own blog, so........ there is an email link on my right side bar.  If you really want an answer, please email me.  I answer all emails.

I will talk a little about prewashing or not here though because I got several comments 2 days asking about it.  I have discussed this before so I went back to that post and copied and pasted what I wrote previously.  I never wash my flannel fabrics because that would make them too soft to cut and sew easily.  They will all shrink the same in the finished quilt.

I have been asked by a couple readers whether I prewash my fabrics. I only prewash my batiks, which don't have any sizing or finish on them anyway. When the first ones came out they smelled so waxy and sometimes even had little pieces of wax still on them. I got into the habit of washing them to get the smell out. They don't smell anymore but I am still in the habit of washing them.



I don't wash any of my regular quilting fabrics unless I am going to use a fusible web (Wonder Under, etc.) on them. If you leave the sizing in them, it repels the fusible eventually and it will start peeling away. Shrinkage on good quality fabric is 2% or less, that is 2" per 100", 1" per 50", 1/2" per 25", etc.


I make most of my large quilts about 4" larger than I need them to be so even if there is some shrinkage in the final product, it will still be large enough. Drying a quilt until it is totally dry in the dryer is the easiest way to shrink a quilt if that is what you want to do. Drying them for about 10 minutes in a dryer then laying them flat to dry and smoothing them with your hand while damp is the best way to retain the original size.
 
I know you don't all agree with me.  I can't see washing out sizing and then spray starching sizing right back into the fabric.  If it makes you happy, or your allergies demand it, then washing is right for you.  As far as colors running, that is whole other subject and Color Catchers have solved that problem for most people.  Most of the color running is dead dye that just goes down the drain and doesn't collect on other fabrics.

12 comments:

HollyM said...

I love the new batiks and look forward to seeing what you do with the 'bits'.

Jackie said...

Beautiful batik choices!! And of course they will go wonderfully with your little blocks.

Clare said...

Gorgeous batiks.

I always pre-wash everything, especially the batiks. Color Catchers are brilliant, but when there are a lot of colours involved, I find you need loads and they ain't cheap!

Char said...

What's not to love about Batiks? Thanks for the info on pre-washing, I never do. My quilts only get washed once completed.

Linda said...

Love a woman who HAS to use a coupon!! I have had some flannels shrink up differently so I always wash them first. I imagine they are much easier to handle when not prewashed. I might try it your way again. Love those Color Catchers...

dianen said...

I'm with you, Wanda. I used to pre-wash only because I was afraid of super dark colors or beautiful reds running. I love those color catcher sheets!!! Now I rarely pre-wash my fabrics.

I loved seeing your surprise package in the mail. So much nicer than a bill!

karenfae said...

great fabrics. I agree on your pre-washing - color catchers are one of the best inventions in the world! Besides Batiks I only prewash most red fabrics and very dark blue type of colors as those are the ones I have had the most trouble with.
Karen
http://karensquilting.com/blog/

Mariella said...

Great fabrics!! Batiks seem like everybody's favorites (well, mine anyway)! As for pre-washing, I used to when I was new to quilting and didn't use so many fabrics in my quilts. The thought of washing and ironing so many pieces of fabric puts a damper on the inspiration to start a project. Besides, I'm in the tropics and I'm told that the chemicals on the fabrics help stave off mold and mildew.

Anonymous said...

Great post today. I love Color Catchers. When I see them I buy them buy the case. They work as well as you state. Plus I I wouldn't be without them in my laundry room.

J~MT

Cathi said...

Gorgeous new batiks!!
I prewash everything because of allergies and because I really prefer the feeling of washed fabric when hand piecing.

hetty said...

Oh, my! What beautiful fabric! Can't wait to see what you are going to use them for. Thanks for the prewash info. I don't do anything consistently when it comes to washing fabrics. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't and it really doesn't make any difference. If I am worried about the colour running in dark blues and reds, I will wash those first.

A Quilter Awakens said...

New fabric happy dance! Thanks for your advice on washing. Karmen